My first few months on A Year in Provenance have been mostly devoted to sharing information, plus a few personal ideas. This year, perhaps the goal should be to make things more personal. The starched collar of academic training will always wrap ’round its disciples’ work, demanding loyalty to the objective fact, free from private feelings and bias; in an academic setting, that is its strength. But a blog is a different animal— its strength is in its flexibility, its presence in everyday life, and its possibility of rapid and diverse dialogue. I want to explore more of these features this year.
In studying this field, I always reach the questions before the answers, and talking with other professionals has increased both my understanding of the complexity of solutions to art crime, and my certainty that we will have to keep making decisions and taking action— knowing that we don’t yet have the answers we need. Somehow, the decisions we make will have to be good ones anyway, because today’s policies will become precedent for tomorrow’s. So from now on, I will be writing about my own questions and ideas, from their beginnings, not just academic-worthy conclusions. The blog will become a more active tool, showing the process of research and analysis— false starts, dead ends, tangents and all— rather than waiting to just report results. I hope this will be of interest to others; it is still interesting every day to me.
Look for more questions inviting feedback, reviews of the many blogs and organisations doing remarkable work around the globe, more ideas for interdisciplinary work relevant to art crime and beyond, and glimpses into Markham Caerus’s current and upcoming projects.
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”